Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – Review


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 is the latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is now the final MCU film to be written and directed by James Gunn before he goes to Warner Brothers to manage their reboot of the DC Cinematic Universe.

Guardians 3 not only aims to be another great film in the series, but it also aims to close out the storylines of most of the characters, especially after the significant shift for Peter Quill and Gamora after Avengers: Endgame.

I really like the Guardians movies, and I would probably say that Guardians 2 might be one of my favourite MCU films, so I was the primary audience for this film. I’m also aware that James Gunn might not have his full heart in this one considering the position that he was put in by Disney several years ago which led to his move to Warner Brothers.

The film itself takes place several years after Endgame with the team trying to put itself back together and it mainly revolves around the story of Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and the pursuit of him by the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji). There’s also a storyline of Peter (Chris Pratt) coming to terms with Gamora (Zoe Saldana), but there’s also a storyline set along Rocket’s past and what it could mean for the Galaxy’s future.

I’ll cut straight to the point, Guardians 3 nails concluding this portion of the MCU. I think it’s an excellent conclusion. I’d say that with this film, you get one of Bradley Cooper’s best performances. He’s been playing Rocket for years, but now he gets to play him in his finest moments. Believe me, this film is very emotional. To paraphrase other people’s opinions, this is an ugly cry movie.

I’ve been vague with the plot because I think that it’s best to go and experience it for yourself. James Gunn has put his everything into this conclusion. You can tell that he really cares about these characters and he wants to give them a good send-off.

There are a few extra characters added in, Kraglin (Sean Gunn) is given a lot more to work with this time being the successor for Yondu. They have also introduced Cosmo into the film series, who is played by the brilliant Maria Bakalova, who played Borat’s daughter in the second Borat movie. She once again turns in another excellent performance, which is saying something considering she’s doing the voiceover for a dog that was launched into space by the Soviet Union and has now developed psychic powers.

The High Evolutionary is getting a lot of backing online for being one of the better MCU villains, and I would say now that he is probably in my top 3 or 5, he’s up there with Thanos and Killmonger for me. It’s hard to go into why he works as a villain without giving too much away, but the writing is superb. Considering he had to go up after Ego from the previous movie, it’s saying a lot! Chukwudi Iwuji’s performance is a bit hammy at times, but it suits the character brilliantly, and he really sells the menace of this character.

The fight scenes feel great as well. I always thought that the Guardians had great fight scenes, but this one is excellent, and the team seems to have gotten the hang of motion capture.

If there’s a negative I could say, it’s the character that was built up in the post-credits of Volume 2. I was really excited to see what the MCU would do with the character of Adam Warlock, who is played by Will Poulter since he’s one of the comics’ biggest characters. It’s fine what they do with him here, they give him some excellent moments but during the first few acts it feels like his character was a bit of an afterthought. Fortunately, Will Poulter really sells the performance, but I wish there was a clearer direction for him.

It’s hard not to talk about the soundtrack in a Guardians of the Galaxy film. The difference with it this time is that Peter Quill in-universe isn’t relying on a cassette tape anymore, it’s less music from the 70s and 80s. There’s still a bit of that, they include a Beastie Boys track and Since You’ve Been Gone by Rainbow, but now there’s a wider range of music from different decades. This becomes apparent in the opening song by Radiohead. I will say that once again, the soundtrack is really good. I’m personally not a fan of all of the songs, but the soundtrack as a whole works and it feels like many of the songs were deliberate choices.

If you like the other Guardians movie and you’ve gone off the MCU, this is one to come back for. This concludes the storyline really well and it’s an excellent film. It feels like all of the other films have been building to this moment. I really love this movie and I think that it will be of my best films of the year. I’m a bit sad to be saying goodbye to this franchise, but I’m happy that we got three good films out of it.
 
Calvin
Director of Axia ASD Ltd.
Self-proclaimed Nerd Consultant
and Head of Axia’s Film Society.

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